Christmas is always a big tradition for my family. Aunts, uncles, and cousins flock from across the world to my house for our annual 2-week long food and champagne bender. On one particular evening, as we sat by the fireplace, my uncle loudly complained about his son’s astronomic cell phone bill. His son quickly responded to his angry remarks explaining that the messenger apps he uses on a daily basis quickly surpass the limit on his data plan. There is little he could do about it.
This wasn’t an isolated issue. People around the world overpay cell phone bills because of the huge bandwidth that their favorite messenger apps consume. Short of just using your smartphone less, here are 3 ways to help you reduce and save money on your cell phone bills:
1- Change your plan
Starting with the obvious: if you keep passing your data, or call limit, you’re on the wrong plan. A quick analysis of your usual smartphone usage could be a great indicator of what sort of plan can suit you best. Online data estimation calculators can be a big help in determining your data usage.
Assuming your current contract is easily modifiable, feel free to discuss options with your cell phone operator. If you’re unsatisfied with your current service, you can always look elsewhere. Comparison tools like MyRatePlan can help you find the right plan. Remember that bigger data plans also means more charges.
2- Change your data usage behavior
Ever heard of wifi? It’s not dead yet! Most coffee shops, parks, hotspots, and even public transport offer complimentary wifi. Instead of streaming your Bojack Horseman episodes on Netflix using data, check first to see if wifi is available. Your wallet will thank you for it. Keep in mind that public wifi may not always be secure.
High data use is also a good excuse to lay off the social media addiction. Facebook and Twitter are notorious for their huge drain on data. Not to mention the psychological dependency they develop. Do you even need a better reason to think twice before clicking that Facebook icon?
3- Replace your biggest data draining apps with data saving equivalents
Users can regulate the data usage on a lot of apps these days. However, in some cases, it’s simpler to switch to a more cost-effective messenger app for performing some of the same tasks. I’ve already mentioned how disastrous WhatsApp can be for your data plan. While recent revelations about its dubious security make its continued use seem less and less beneficial (hey, I called it!). The messaging and VoIP app Zangi solves a lot of these issues. Designed around low-bandwidth and low data usage by default, this app will make a significant impact on saving money on your phone bill.
Plus, unlike some, its full end-to-end encryption protocol and fully decentralized. In other words, this messenger app doesn’t store any communication history on any servers which makes it 100% secure to use.
Stop handing over so much of your hard-earned cash to the telephone companies. Think of all the things you could do with all that left-over cash at the end of the month. Change your mobile data habits now.